Kaspar van Leek (1983, Philipsburg St. Maarten) en Niels van Swaemen (1981, Eindhoven) are the founders of Studio Giftig, an urban artist duo based in the Netherlands. They specialize in photorealistic paintings and murals, often with a surrealistic twist. Each work they make is unique, because they photograph their own models which they use for their paintings.
Kaspar and Niels met in 2007, when both of them were already active in street art for some time. In 2007 the first collaboration projects were picked up and a vacant warehouse served as base for their studio. Within this warehouse there was a storage room for toxic substances and chemicals, where they kept their paint and spray cans. The name Studio Giftig refers to this storage room (because giftig is the Dutch translation of Toxic). In 2012 the duo decided to fully devote themselves to murals and in the following years they developed their unique painting style. In 2021 Studio Giftig started a new concept: Music & Murals. A series of murals in collaboration with the greatest Dutch musicians, where the murals are based on songs from their repertoire.
This wall is the third painting for that project. In collaboration with Trotse Muren and musicians Typhoon and Sticks a mural on Poppodium Hedon was painted, based on the song "Verre oosten remix" (Far East Remix), a track in which the entire Fakkelbrigade (torch brigade) raps and represents the city of Zwolle. Verre oosten was written to give Hip Hop a different sound than the one that came from the Cities in the west at the time.
Typhoon: Imro Glenn Lubertus Emile de Randamie, better known by his stage name Typhoon, is a Dutch rapper/singer of Surinamese descent. De Randamie grew up in the Veluwe village of 't Harde and comes from a musical family.
Sticks: Junte Uiterwijk, better known as Sticky Steez, Sticks or Stickert, is a Dutch rapper from Zwolle. Between 1998 and 2007, Sticks formed the rap formation Opgezwolle together with rapper Phreako Rico and DJ Delic.